The Problem Space
According to a new report from The NPD Group, Generation Zs have higher consumption rates of organic foods and beverages than any other generation.
However, recent findings indicate that this specific group also struggles with picking the right produce at the grocery store, and learning how to determine where a produce lies on the scale of ripeness to rotten. This cumbersome process can frustrate and turn away young consumers from buying fresh produce at the grocery stores.
Fresh Noms is an easily accessible tool that seamlessly integrates into a young grocery shopper's journey from the store to the kitchen refrigerator.
My Role: From research, ideation, concept, to UX/UI Design, this was a solo project I took on, with no additional team members.
Whether it’s knocking on watermelons, smelling pineapples, squeezing avocados, or examining the color of peaches, experienced grocery shoppers have always dominated the produce aisles of any grocery store. I always wondered what the secrets were to selecting the freshest, ripest, healthiest, and best-tasting produce.
I never seemed to get it right, neither at the grocery stores or at my refrigerator at home, when my produce went bad in the blink of an eye. So, how were other people approaching this particular problem space? It made sense to do some guerrilla research.
Guerrilla Research Questions
What I wanted to find out:
I wanted to learn in my research what the perceptions about produce ripeness was. The guerrilla research was a fun and interactive take on having conversations about this particular problem space. The guerrilla research also had an interactive exercise where I asked participants to guess the ripeness of a fresh produce. The fresh produce was taken from a ripeness scale I found online. Most importantly, I wanted to learn how people were trying to solve this problem currently by asking about particular tips they had for picking fresh produce.
Ripeness Scales & Guerrilla Research Findings
WHAT I FOUND OUT
What I learned: From the interactive part of the research, I found that the the younger generations struggled in accurately finding where produce was on the ripeness scale. Although there were some who found the task easy to assume ripeness of any produce, many expressed difficulty when presented with the task in the guerrilla research. In the dialogues from the participants of this research,
I found out that many had very specific tips based on the different types of vegetables and fruits, including determining shades of colors, squishing, and smelling the fruit.
It was not a one size fits all type of task, but there were different rules based on all the different types of fruits and vegetables. Unless one memorized all these different rules, or had learned from experience picking fresh produce, there was no other way to understand the ripeness scale of all these different produce types. This was the root of why inexperienced grocery shoppers had such difficulty selecting produce at the grocery aisles.
THE PERSPECTIVES BEHIND THE DESIGN
Based on the various conversations I had from the guerrilla research, I created user personas to understand the problem space with an empathetic perspective. With this approach, the focus is given to the persona’s pain points especially in regard to the particular problem space.
What excited the personas? Frustrated them? What were their goals? These were the questions I aimed to find answers for.
CONCEPTUAL MODEL IDEATION
From the personas, there was an overlap in unmet needs, which was a frustration about not knowing where produce were on the “ripeness scale.” This affected struggles in picking fresh produce at the grocery store, knowing and eating produce at the correct ripeness level, and throwing away produce that had rotted in refrigerators at homes. Exploration of specific ideas was the next step to brainstorm for the final solution.
In what ways, could inexperienced grocery shoppers have one less thing to worry about?
The brainstorming of early concepts was an opportunity to explore the range of solutions in this specific problem space. In order to dive further into this exploration phase, I storyboarded the application of these concepts in the personas’ every-day lives. From this, I was able to further understand the journeys of the specific stakeholders relative to these specific solutions. The natural steps of this journey flowed from exploration of Context -> Problem -> Solution -> Resolution. From these steps, I was able to better evaluate the true value of these solutions for the stakeholders.
The storyboards were a good tool in helping me gain feedback from speed-dating. I was able to speed-date those who fit the description of my main user stakeholders. This way, I could gain the most valuable feedback about the various concepts, and guide me as I started to map the user-flows next.